China's long-awaited tourism move is designed to regulate the tourism market, safeguard tourists' rights and interests, ensure reasonable use of resources, and foster the industry's sustainable and healthy growth. When I refer to this topic of regulating tourism market for no shopping, no tipping, it is just not applied for China inbound tourism, it is also for all China outbound travels to worldwide destinations.
The new law outlines measures to address key problems - unfair competition, wanton price hikes, and forced goods purchases - which have plagued the travel industry and aroused strong public discontent in China.
The law includes provisions to counter the rampant practice of "zero- or negative-fare tours" in the country, which refers to tour services sold by travel agents at or below cost in order to attract travellers, who are later forced to purchase goods or tip agents during their tour.
Travel agencies may not sell services at "unreasonably low" prices to attract tourists or seek illegitimate profits by arranging for tourists to purchase goods at designated stores or any paid travel sessions other than those listed in the contracts, it says.
The law stipulates that fixed-price tour contracts should clearly list tour itineraries, content and duration of each travel session, and conditions for transportation, hotel and dining services.
On the other hand, the "Travel Law" will cause travel with the group full price. As a consumer, I think looking at the factors beyond the price is also important. All these regulations are set to protect travellers' interests.
by Catherine Ge, Business Development Manager at MISA Travel Singapore
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